Monday, June 22, 2015

Genealogy Do-Over Week 11: Reviewing Social Media Options & Building a Research Network

Me, Elk Grove Village, Ill 1970
The topics for Week 11 were 1 - Reviewing Social Media Options and 2 - Building a Research Network

Reviewing Social Media Options

Again, I have to agree with Thomas MacEntee about social media. It really is getting so that you can't say you're doing everything you can in your research if you aren't taking advantage of social media.

After about five years of craft blogging and just over three years of genealogy blogging, I just joined Facebook a few months ago, motivated by genealogy research goals and I'm really glad I did.  I now belong to 10 genealogy groups. Some are overall research groups like the Genealogy Do-Over and Genealogy-Cite Your Sources, some are geographic like the Swedish American Group and the Long Island NY Genealogy group.  All have been helpful in some form or another and I've seen members of these groups be very helpful to other members.

I joined Google+ this year, also because of genealogy. I have mentioned DearMYRTLE a few times during the Do-Over. Her Hangouts on Air are recorded and can be viewed on YouTube, but in order to comment live you have to join Google+ and her community, so I did. I'm not as active on Google+ otherwise, but I hope to get more into it in the coming months.

I have been on Twitter for a few years now. I'm not really an active "tweeter". I use it more as a news feed for my interests in genealogy and in ice hockey and for little else. Twitter moves more quickly than Facebook so it is easy to miss things, but I still like it and find it a useful tool.

And, of course, I blog. What started as cousin-bait is evolving into something more, I hope. As I grow more comfortable with the idea that I have more to share than just the names and facts of my ancestors, I hope that this will be a place where I can offer my experience with research as well.

Building a Research Network

This Saturday I finally attended my first meeting of a live Genealogical Society; the Irish Family History Forum. I joined online a few weeks ago, received a welcome package last week and attended their final meeting of the season on Saturday about a half hour from home.

It was a fantastic meeting. The lecturer was a genealogist by the name of Jane Wilcox and her topic was "New York City and State Vital Records and Their Substitutes." It was fascinating and very detailed and informative.

Although the meeting consisted mostly of the lecture, I was able to meet a couple of people who were very happy to share a wee bit of knowledge with us as well. I think more will come of that in terms of researching as I attend more meetings starting in the fall.

As I said above, my blogging began mostly as cousin-bait, but I am hoping that it will become "fellow-researcher bait" eventually as well especially as I share more of my experiences and thought processes when in comes to researching.

I'm also trying to become a better blog reader and make time to visit more blogs on a regular basis. I'm not sure when I got away from that as much as I have but I realized recently that I wasn't visiting nearly as many blogs as I was when I first found Geneabloggers.  As a blogger I know how much work blogging can be, it can only be a good thing to let fellow-bloggers know that I am reading and that I appreciate their work.

I think that expanding one's research network is as important as, and goes hand-in-hand with, a social media presence. This will definitely be a priority for me this year.

Sometime in the next couple of days I will post about the Week 12 topics and finally be caught up with the Do-Over as this cycle is coming to an end!